Not too long ago, eating out as a vegan meant bland and boring options and multiple back-and-forths with the kitchen. Fast forward today. Vegan-only restaurants abound and, surprise, family-friendly options are available too! Whether you’re a vegan family, or prefer a plant-forward diet, the DMV has plenty of choices for even the pickiest of eaters, grown-ups included!

Photo: HipCityVeg

HipCityVeg
At the local outpost of Philly-based HipCityVeg, kids will love the Ziggy burger (they won’t even realize it’s a tempeh patty) and the Crispy HipCity Ranch sandwich. The latter is a pretty awesome riff on a fried chicken sandwich. Save room for banana whip, a frozen banana treat with your choice of toppings. The small fast-casual venue, however, is best for take-out or during nonpeak hours.

712 Seventh St., NW.
Online: hipcityveg.com

NuVegan Cafe
Known for their plant-based twist on soul-inspired comfort foods, NuVegan is a favorite among District vegans. Their juice bar churns out delicious smoothies, and who doesn’t love fried chicken and collard greens? Favorites like the Garvey burger, “chicken” drummies with homemade honey mustard, and vegan lasagna get cheers all round. Both laid back locations have speedy service, and the D.C. location is spacious enough to accommodate families.

2928 Georgia Ave., NW (Columbia Heights)
8150 Baltimore Ave. (College Park, Md)
Online: nuvegancafe.com

Sunflower Vegetarian Restaurant
Both locations of this quirky, Asian-inspired restaurant are adorned with—you got it—sunflowers! Food-wise, there’s something for everyone here. Mom can slurp up some spicy noodles, dad can dig into a vegi-bacon potato pie, and the kids can pull together a tapas menu from appetizers like fried “chicken” on a stick, spring rolls, sushi, and more. (Note: The Vienna location has a couple of items with dairy.)

6304 Leesburg Pike (Falls Church, Va)
2531 Chain Bridge Rd. (Vienna, Va)
Online: crystalsunflower.com

Shouk 
This newcomer to the vegan dining scene doesn’t need to use the “v word to describe their restaurant; their Middle Eastern-inspired menu speaks for itself. In addition to an assortment of plant-based pita sandwiches, Shouk’s polenta fries and choc chip cookie have bona-fide kid-appeal. Point to note, The Washington Post recently showed their veggie burger lotsalove.

655 K St. NW (Mt. Vernon Square)
Online: shouk.com

Yuan Fu Vegetarian
This casual, intimate spot offers vegan versions of popular Chinese dishes such as hot and sour soup and kung pao chicken. Both the mock Peking duck and moo shu pork are fun, eat-with-yourfingers foods that little hands will love. Other winners include the fried black mushrooms and beef and broccoli.

798 Rockville Pike (Rockville, Md)
Online: yuanfuvegetarian.com

Everlasting Life Restaurant and Lounge
For almost 20 years, Everlasting Life has been serving up their eclectic vegan soul food menu. Crowd favorites include two types of mac and cheese (cashew and soy), curried maple drumsticks, jerk chicken, and more. On weekends, brunch items span tofu scramble, organic corn grits and whole wheat pancakes. If you or your tot is undecided, feel free to ask the friendly staff for samples. Plus, kids eat free from 12 to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday with a paying adult. (Also by the same owner: Evolve, 341 Cedar St., NW.; Vegaritos, 6904 4th., NW.)

9185 Central Ave., Ste A (Capitol Heights, Md)
Online: facebook.com/ELifeRestaurant

Sticky Fingers
A longtime district fixture, Sticky Fingers bakery sells baked goods sans dairy, many allergen-free too. So even if your little veganino can’t have soy or nuts, they can still relish a cupcake or two. Craving something more substantial? They have brunch and lunch choices too: Think breakfast burritos, pancakes, alt-tuna sandwiches, and buffalo seitan wrap. (Their sister diner, Fare Well, is at 406 H St., NE)

1370 Park Rd., NW. (Columbia Heights)
Online: stickyfingersbakery.com

So, what’s your favorite vegan restaurant in the DMV? Tell us below.

—Pat Tanumihardja